During the Russian-Turkish war of 1787-1791. fierce clashes took place not only on land but also at sea. Still young in those years, the Black Sea Fleet of Russia glorified itself with a convincing victory over the Turkish fleet in the battle at Cape Tendra, which took place on August 28-29, 1790 according to the old style, or September 8-9 according to the new style.
The Russian fleet under the command of Rear Admiral F. F. Ushakov consisted of 10 battleships, that is, the largest and most well-armed ships, 6 frigates, 1 bombardment ship and 20 small auxiliary ships. The opposing Turkish squadron consisted of 14 battleships, 8 frigates and 23 auxiliary ships. The enemy, commanded by one of the best Turkish admirals Hasan Pasha, was stronger not only numerically, but also in artillery: the Turks had 1,400 against 830 Russian cannons. Hasan Pasha was eager to wash away the shame of the defeat he suffered last year from the same Ushakov in battle in the Kerch Strait. The Turkish admiral, having assured the Sultan of victory, promised to take the captured Ushakov across Istanbul in an iron cage.
A fierce battle continued for two days, which ended, despite the courage and perseverance shown by the Turks, with a convincing victory for the Russians. The flagship 74-gun battleship of the Turkish squadron "Kapudania" exploded and sank with most of the crew, and the 66-gun battleship "Meleki Bahri", being severely damaged, surrendered. In addition, several more auxiliary ships of the Turks surrendered. The enemy suffered heavy human losses: over two thousand sailors and officers were killed alone. The losses of the Russians, despite the fierceness of the two-day battle, were minimal: twenty-one people died, twenty-five were wounded.
The victory at Cape Tendra ensured the domination of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea and allowed a flotilla of small ships to climb up the Danube to the Ishmael fortress. The bombing of this fortress during its brilliant assault by Suvorov in December of the same year made a significant contribution to the conquest of the fortress.
Rear Admiral F. F. Ushakov was awarded the Order of St. George, 2nd degree for the victory. The glory of the successful and brave naval commander resounded throughout Russia. It was called "Sea Suvorov". The victory at Cape Tendra was all the more impressive because it washed away the bitterness of the failure of the Baltic Fleet, which in the summer of the same 1790, in the battle with the Swedish squadron at Kotka, due to serious mistakes of the Russian command, suffered a crushing defeat.
Two centuries later, the Federal Law of March 13, 1995 "On the Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates of Russia" commemorated the day of September 11 as the day of victory at Cape Tendra. The slight discrepancy in dates is due to the cumulative time difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
On this day, festive events, parades, festive competitions and concerts are held on ships and in the coastal units of the Russian Navy. By tradition, it is on September 11 that the most distinguished sailors, foremen and officers are awarded the Ushakov medal for the performance of military duty in conditions associated with a risk to life, as well as for excellent performance in combat training and naval training. Demonstration performances are held in some parts, officers demonstrate their abilities and skills.